Assessment study of impact and sustainability of Nirmal Gram Puraskar – A report by CMS Environment

This report by CMS Environment presents an assessment study of impact and sustainability of Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP).

NGP was initiated in Oct 2003 to encourage Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), block and districts to take up sanitation promotion, a post achievement, award-cum-fiscal incentive scheme. The eligibility criteria for the PRIs to receive NGP include: Gram Panchayats, Blocks and Districts, which achieve 100 per cent sanitation coverage in terms of: (1) 100 per cent sanitation coverage of individual households (2) 100 per cent school and anganwadis sanitation coverage (3) Free from open defecation and (4) Clean environment maintenance (liquid and solid waste management).

The main purpose of the study was to assess the impact of NGP on the pace of progressToilet of sanitation availability and usage in the country under Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) and its related impacts on health, education, gender empowerment, social inclusion in rural areas on different user groups particularly the rural poor.  This study also focused on the durability and sustainability of the provision and usage of sanitary facilities over time.

The rationale of the present evaluation study was to provide important evidence on whether the NGP component of the TSC is to be continued and if so till when and with what modifications so as to reach the goal of 100 per cent sanitation coverage and usage in rural areas of the country by 2012.

The focus issues studied through fifty indicators of performance, sustainability and impact include -

  • Current Status of NGP Criteria: Coverage, Usage, Open Defecation Free (ODF), Garbage Disposal and Drainage Systems;
  • Impact and Hygiene Factor;
  • Sustainability of NGP Status;
  • Measures and Modifications for Sustained NGP Status.

The study was undertaken in twelve states, which were categorised by their performance under the TSC programme, viz. high, average and low performing. However, no priority was assigned to any state based on its categorization while selecting the NGP Gram Panchayats for the study.

The study recommends the following -

  • A staggered achievement scale (and hence a staggered award system) may be designed to acknowledge the efforts of past ‘poor performers’ in bringing about the incremental change over their base years. For the overachievers’ setting the higher level goals by design. This would counter the lack of enthusiasm attributed to “once the ‘ultimate’ award is achieved, no more work would fetch any further acknowledgement/recognition”.
  • The Gram Panchayats, who are close to achieving the final ODF status, may be given some recognition with some awards to enhance their morale. A grading system may be developed for various aspects of ‘Nirmal” (like GPs who are close to achieving the ODF or who achieved completely achieved it, or have best management in disposal of solid & liquid waste etc.) and based upon grading, the GPs should be recognised with a reward/award.
  • There should be provision to give awards for different levels of achieving the ‘Nirmal’ status. One example cited by stakeholders included: first an award for reaching ODF status, then an award on reaching ODF and safe SLWM status, which would include SLWM and other indicators from Human Development Index, followed by an award on becoming a model village with forestation, electrification and so on.

Download the full report here -

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